Tuesday, June 01, 2004


I want to tell you about Meselech.

Meselech is a little girl who turned 7 this past February. She lives with her relatives and two sisters. She likes to play house. She helps at home by learning to do small tasks. She is currently good health.

But she's living on a continent being ravaged by AIDS.

Meselech lives in Ethiopia. Her relatives struggle to provide enough for the family. She's not in school. She has limited access to medical care, even more limited access to clean water. Her country has been plagued by famine and internal strife.

I look into her eyes and my heart cracks. No seven year old should have eyes so cold and joyless. But no seven year old should have to look into the face of death on a daily basis, as people around her die from a preventable disease, or starvation, or violence.

I turn to my God and I demand an answer. "Why have You allowed this to happen, You who are so powerful and mighty to save?"

My God looks me square in the soul and replies, "Why have you allowed it, you who are so rich and able to serve?"

I shrug my shoulders. "I'm nobody. Just one person. I can't save the world from hunger and disease. But You, You are God, You must do this."

My God waves his hand, gesturing to the people of the earth. "I am Spirit. I cannot hold the hand of the lonely, pour a bowl of soup for the hungry, or give medicine to the sick. But you, you are human, you must do this."

I shake my head at my God and say, "But you are God. You can do all things!"

My God shakes his head at me, and says, "You are my servant. You can do all things through Christ who gives you strength."

I finally reply, "I'm not going to win this argument, am I?"

My God smiles and says, "No. Do you love me? Feed my sheep."

I ask, "But aren't we all the sheep of your pasture?"

My God nods, and says, "But you have to start with one, don't you?"

"I suppose."

My God grins. "Here is the first. Her name is Meselech. I love her and gave myself up for her."


Even if that dialogue didn't exactly take place, it pretty much did. The final back-breaking straw was the simple question posed by the Spirit while I was at a rock concert: "After all that I've provided for you, the posh job, the safety and comfort of your life, can you honestly say that you can't afford to give to one of the least of these? It's too much of a sacrifice for you?"

And I had no answer.

Pray for Meselech and others like her.

But then, do more than just pray. Go here.

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